Life is good in Linnyland

Local Artist’s perception of life focuses on the positive

  • May. 22, 2013 7:00 a.m.

Local artist Linny D. Vine doesn't see the world the same way as the rest of us. In Linnyland, buildings dance, and colour, shape and light combine to create a feeling of bliss for all who set eyes upon it. Life is good in Linnyland. The cover image, titled 'Downtown Date' is a 30 x 20 oil on canvas, that is on display until the end of May at Fernwood’s She Said Gallery, as part of 'Spring Fling in Linnyland.' You can read more about Vine in Monday's Summer Guide.

Local Artist’s perception of life focuses on the positive

Welcome to Linnyland, a world imbued with colour and happiness, where buildings dance, and colour, shape and light combine to create a feeling of bliss for all who set eyes upon it. Life is good in Linnyland.

This special, vibrant world is a reflection of the minds’ eye of local artist Linny D. Vine, a celebrated painter represented by galleries across North America.

Although Vine has had past careers as a goldsmith, a garden designer and a letter carrier, she has always come back to art.

“I always drew, did pencil sketches and painted off and on through school, but it wasn’t until my 40s that I applied myself in a more serious manner,” says Vine. “If you can call Linnyland serious … Sometimes I have to remind myself I’m a successful professional artist.”

Over the last decade, Vine has created and sold around 400 acrylic and oil paintings of various sizes, shapes and subject matter.

Linnyism is the best way to describe Vine’s distinctive contemporary style, blending expressionism with a healthy dose of nostalgia. Vine enjoys painting both styles in her home studio overlooking the ocean, a home that she shares with life partner Jeffery Boron. She also enjoys creating en plein air.

“I don’t paint exactly what I see,” says Vine. “It’s the feeling of a certain area.”

Vine was born in Saskatchewan and grew up around Vancouver. She came to Victoria with the intention of enrolling in Camosun College’s visual art program, but decided on photography because of a long wait list.

“I learned a lot, but it wasn’t creative enough for me.”

When she met Boron, also an artist, she was encouraged to follow her passion for painting full-time.

“It’s great. We’re fairly devotional. We live for our art and, of course, we’re very supportive of each other,” says Vine.

The couple travel and paint together, often around the Gulf Islands (the Summer Guide cover features Vine’s take on Fulford Harbour, Salt Spring Island).

Vine started off with Chinese brush painting, but the watercolour “wasn’t punchy enough” for her. She moved on to acrylics and then to oils.

“With oil, I like that I can keep moving the paint around. And even though I put a lot of paint on, with acrylic it feels like it flattens as it dries. The colours change, like they dull a bit … though most wouldn’t tell the difference.”

And that sentiment sums up Vine’s work ethic. She’s a perfectionist who likes things perfectly imperfect. “It could take my whole life to finish a painting,” she says.

But she refuses to dwell on the little things and takes her life mantra from the last line of Max Ehrmann’s famous poem “Desiderata:” “Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.”

“Because really, in life, that’s all we have,” she says. “If everyone could spend more time in Linnyland, or their creative space, the world would be a better place … I know there’s pain and suffering, but you can choose. If you don’t feel the hard stuff, if you deny it, you deny the happiness, too.” M

You can view Vine’s work in person at She Said Gallery (2000 Fernwood) in Spring Fling in Linnyland, on until May 30. She’s also having a solo show at The Old School House Arts Centre in Qualicum Beach July 8-Aug. 4. More: Linnydvine.com.

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